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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers' April Challenge: Maple Mousse in an Edible Container

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blog Cheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

The Daring Cooks five finalists are online but the Bakers haven't been announced. I'd imagine the judges are having a hard time narrowing down their top picks. I don't envy them at all. How can they choose only five finalists? There were so many amazing results!


The instructions included an edible bacon cup or nut-flour cup filled with maple mousse. . .


I couldn't think of anything better to pair with bacon and maple syrup mousse than pancakes. But of course they couldn't be an ordinary stack of pancakes so I went whimsical.

The ingredients for the Maple Syrup Mousse

The mousse is really easy to make.


The Instructions:
  1. Bring maple syrup to a boil then remove from heat.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks and pour a little bit of the maple syrup in while whisking (this is to temper your egg yolks so they don’t curdle).
  3. Add warmed egg yolks to hot maple syrup until well mixed.
  4. Measure 1/4 cup of whipping cream in a bowl and sprinkle it with the gelatine. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Place the bowl in a microwave for 45 seconds (microwave for 10 seconds at a time and check it in between) or place the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water, stir to ensure the gelatine has completely dissolved.
  5. Whisk the gelatine/whipping cream mixture into the maple syrup mixture and set aside.
  6. Whisk occasionally for approximately an hour or until the mixture has the consistency of an unbeaten raw egg white.
  7. Whip the remaining cream. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the maple syrup mixture. Fold in the remaining cream and refrigerate for at least an hour.
  8. 8. Remove from the fridge and divide equally among your edible containers.
If you want to try making the mousse or view instructions for the bacon cups, nut crust or a tofu vegan version of the mousse just Download the Printable Recipe PDF by CLICKING HERE

My friend Elisa recommended using Lightlife Smart Bacon Strips when I asked her for a recommendation for the best faux bacon. If you cook it well it really tastes like bacon and the mouth feel is pretty close.

I wanted the bacon to create ornamental spirals. I started out googling for "Bacon Straws" and found these directions for Bacon Curls on Not Martha.


Using a knife I cut one slice of bacon into thinner, lengthwise strands.

Use aluminum foil to create a frame to wrap the bacon strips around.

I folded the foil over one end then rolled the bacon around the length like so.

The key was to not allow the bacon to touch the cookie sheet as it baked or that area browned darker than the rest. So I elevated each spiral by adjusting the foil to hold them high.

Bake in the oven until cooked. The temperature and time will vary by your oven, if you're using pork or faux bacon and the thickness of the strips.

After the bacon is cooked carefully compress the foil so that it is more thin than the spiral is wide allowing you to gently slide the foil out of the spiral without breaking the bacon which will have shrunk down during the baking process.

I used Arrowhead Mills Buttermilk Pancake & Waffle Mix
to make 3" wide silver dollar pancakes.

The funniest thing is that this was also the first time I've ever made pancakes! I used to help my mom when I was a kid but I don't like pancakes so I've never made them for myself. Man are they easy to make! Makes me wonder why anyone pays more for them in restaurants.

I used a small cookie/biscuit cutter to remove the centers from three of the pancakes and stacked them on top of a fourth whole pancake creating an edible container. I was calling it "Pancakes with a Hole" but then fellow bakers Audax and Renata proclaimed it was a Vol-au-vent (pronounced vole-aw-vahn) which sounds so much more elegant. So I'm going with that instead :)

And then something went very wrong. My mousse was a flop. I wanted to make a vegetarian version so I substituted the agar agar for the gelatin. It didn't set. In an attempt to salvage it I threw the mixture into the freezer for an hour. Still liquid. WOW. Like Vodka. So I left it in the freezer overnight. Happy surprise in the morning. . . I had maple syrup gelato! Because it's so sweet I think I actually like it as the gelato more than I would have as a mousse since cold always seems to cut some of the sweetness out of things.

I filled the Vol-au-vent with the gelato and topped it off with a small scoop. . . Added the bacon spirals, some maple syrup and. . .

Are these the most elegant pancakes ever?

This challenge was so much FUN!

The instructions included creating cups made of bacon or a crust style cup made from nut flour but the sky was the limit. We were free to create any kind of container as long as it was edible.

And here's the challenge recipe one more time: Download the Printable Recipe PDF by CLICKING HERE. You should make it for yourself or your family just for fun!

I can't wait to make a pancake vol-au-vent filled with scrambled eggs and bacon spirals the next time we have house guests.

If you're a bride how fun would this be to serve at your bridesmaids' brunch? Or if you're catering a breakfast with family and friends before or after the wedding you should ask your caterer if they could create something similar for you.

And my favorite part of every Daring Bakers' post is sharing some of the jaw dropping creations by the other Daring Bakers. I love showing you the range of creativity that comes from a single recipe. Click on the image to view the enlargement and the links below to visit their blogs. Congrats to all who attempted this challenge, success or flop we all tried and learned from the experience which is what counts most imo.

Row 1
  1. I Can Do That: Lemon rind confit with a ginger flavored meringue
  3. KOKEN IN DE BROUWERIJ: Dipped White and Dark Chocolate Cups
  4. Cherry Tea Cakes: Maple Bacon Donuts
Row 2
  1. C Mom Cook - Brushed Chocolate Bowl
  2. Oh Yenner!: Almond Meringue Rings
  3. Expreriments of a Housewife: Carrot Bowl
  4. J's Kitchen: Chocolate Dipped Nut Bowl with Mini Meringue "Chocolate Chips"
Row 3
  1. Magpies Recipes: Cream Puff
  2. Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks: Dark chocolate container 
  3. I Can Do That: Candied bacon with chocolate meringue
  4. txfarmer: Espresso Jello Mold with Toasted Pecans
Row 4
  1. Chef in Disguise: Baked Apple Cups
  2. Chocolate & Flowers: Faux Bacon Joconde Entremet
  3. AEROFLOT REH: Pan de mie bread box, maple poached apple chunks and toasted pecan pieces
  4. txfarmer: Ice glass decorated with edible flowers, maple mousse inside, topped with maple poached apple and toasted pecans
Row 5
  1. Gayathri's Cook Spot - Fried Rice Cups
  2. Audax Artifex: Deluxe Stuffed Ridge Back Sweet Potatoes
  3. Audax Artifex: Chocolate bacon brioche spoons
  4. txfarmer: Ice glass decorated with edible flowers, maple mousse inside, topped with maple poached apple and toasted pecans

If you liked this post you'll enjoy these Bakers' Challenges too:

• January 2011: Fancy Joconde Imprime Entremet
• February 2011: Panna Cotta and Florentine Cookies
• March 2011: Meringue Coffee Cakes

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